History in the making: Glencoe leverages GIS to assist with architectural survey

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Glencoe is known through the north shore as a picturesque village
with abundant parks, attractive beach access, and remarkable
architecture. Tourists and potential residents alike enjoy driving the
village streets to see its beautiful private homes and public buildings.
What they may not know, however, is that a significant number of these
structures have historically significant architecture. The styles range
from 19th century Victorian Gothic to 20th century English Tudor to the
passive solar architectural innovations of George and William Keck. The
Village’s Historic Preservation Board currently has a list of about 100
homes along a walking tour route for visitor enjoyment.

In summer 2012, the Village hired a sustainability and historic
preservation consultant to conduct a community-wide survey of its
architecture. After completing extensive archival research, the
consultant turned up a list of nearly 400 structures that, if still
standing, could be historically significant. To confirm this, the
consultant’s next step was to visit every address on her list. GIS was
able to lend a hand in this process by mapping out every location and
determining the most efficient route for completing field checks. Not
only did this increase efficiency by spatially organizing the data, it
also reduces the likelihood that the consultant will miss structures on
her list and have to return to the same streets on multiple days. Once
the consultant is finished with her survey and is ready to present her
findings, GIS will also assist by creating an interactive map for the
public that showcases her findings in an easy-to-use format.